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 Some times, even the wildlife needs a little help.

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Pulse

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PostSubject: Some times, even the wildlife needs a little help.   Sat May 28, 2011 1:13 am

Wow, It's been so long since I've been here that I literally couldn't remember my own password. I know it now though. I finally figured it out...after about four or five tries Neutral

I need to start hanging around here again once in a while Smile

Anyway, I was hoping that someone could give me some advice about something. I posted this on a bird forum earlier but the only thing anyone really said was that I should have just left it alone and not interfered. But the thing is that to me, that would have been cruel and I'm not sure if I would ever stop feeling horrible for doing something like that after knowing that I could have done something.

This past Tuesday, my mother saw a small bird, a finch, in our yard struggling. The cat was eyeing it nearby so she went outside to try and chase the cat away to give the bird some time to fly away. But the bird didn't fly away. He tried to, but he couldn't get very high up off of the ground and every time he did, he'd fall back down again. The poor bird exhausted himself trying to fly and failing, so my mother picked him up and brought him into the house. She woke me up at about 9:00am that morning telling me that she had a hurt bird and she needed something to put him in. So I got up and went looking for something. All I could find was this small pet carrier in our attic. So we put him into the pet carrier with a towel to line the bottom with and some food (wild bird seed that we fill the bird feeders with) and water. Both of his eyes were so badly messed up that we both swore that he only had one eye and we weren't even sure that he could see out of it. We cleaned it with saline solution and started putting some eye drops in both of his eyes, just in case and we watched him to see if he was going to eat or if he might go into a state of shock. He started eating not long aftet he found the bird seed we put in the pet carrier with him. And he's been eating and drinking really well ever since. He flitters and he tries flying around the cage we got to put him in since we thought he should be in something that would allow him to see his surroundings and get some light (the pet carrier was really dark and he couldn't see out of it if he had wanted to).

We've been cleaning his eyes with the saline solution and putting the eye drops in it every day, several times a day if his eyes start to milk or cloud over or get dry and we've found out that he does have both of his eyes. The one we thought was missing was just so badly scabbed over that it looked as if it had been pecked out or something. He has two bald patches on the back of his head and he's missing a good chunk of his tail feathers but both of his eyes are looking a lot better now and he's acting like he can see, though we don't know how well.

He's not at all aggressive, he's lively, he'll sit on our hands, he acts curious some times and he's eating and drinking normally, it's almost as if we might have bought him from a pet store. We're really surprised that he is doing so well. Usually wild animals will go into a state of shock and die within 24 hours. But we've had him for going on four days now and he seems to be doing great. He tried to fly to his highest perch the other night and he made it and now he's been flying up to it as best he can off and on.

I took his cage and put him on the screened-in porch today to get some fresh air and so he could see and hear the other birds in the yard and he actually started chirping, I mean really chirping for the first time since my mother found him. We're hoping that once his eyes are better and his feathers have all grown back that he'll be able to fly again and we'll be able to let him go back outside with the other birds in the yard. If he didn't have a will to live, he wouldn't have lived this long. He'd have probably been dead by Wednesday morning. My mother says that he looks like he might have gotten into a fight with another finch and got his rearend kicked.

If he ends up being blind in one or both eyes or his sight doesn't improve so that it's possible for him to fly again, he'll die if we put him back out into the yard. To me, to get him well again and then to do that would be cruel. We're hoping that eventually we'll be able to let him rejoin the other birds, but if we can't, how do we keep him from getting lonely? Could we go to a pet store and get another finch to put with him so he could have some company? We've had birds before and we've never been able to have more than one bird in a cage. They've ended up fighting with each other and pulling each other's feathers out. I don't want this little bird to come this far only to end up dieing anyway or to get lonely and be unhappy. He's doing so well. We can always let him fly around the house some to get some exercise (after we throw the cats outside and put the other one in another room with the door closed, of course) and so he's not in a cage all the time. That's what we used to do with the parakeets and the cockatiels we used to have. But this little bird is used to having the entire area to fly around in. He's never been in captivity before. So what happens if we're not able to let him back outside? How do we keep him from becoming absolutely miserable?

This is not a picture of the bird himself, he actually looks worse than this right now. He's looking better though Smile But this is what he looks like:


Everyone on that other site was telling me that we "shouldn't have interferred". We "should have left him outside". "Nature is cruel"...yadda, yadda, yadda. I couldn't have done that, even if I had been the one to have found him. The cat would have eaten him. He'd be dead now and he's been doing really well since my mother found him. His eyes are clearing up and he's able to see. He's getting a little fiestier but he's still not aggressive and he doesn't act like he's afraid of us. Besides, people rehabilitate wild animals all the time. How is trying to help a potentially blind bird to see better any different? I think it would have been far more cruel to have left him outside, unable to see, unable to fly and pretty much completely helpless fluttering around in the grass...with a cat lurking nearby.
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PostSubject: Re: Some times, even the wildlife needs a little help.   Tue May 31, 2011 2:58 am

Sounds like a though little thing. How is it doing now? I don't think you did a bad thing. Yes nature is cruel and animals die in nature all the time but there's nothing wrong with trying to help in cases like this. If you've taken care of birds before I'm sure you know what you need to do to make it happy. Finches generally don't like to be alone, but adding another finch could possibly lead to one of them being picked on by the other. Just have to weight the options there, maybe check with a Avian Certified vet. WHich is probably a good idea anyway. Most likely they can check it out and see about it's eye sight and give you info on how to move forward. I wonder if you have a wildlife rehab or zoo near you. I live in NC, so we have a large zoo and also a wild rehab. We've taken several wild animals we've found that have been hurt to the rehab. They either rehabilitate them and release them back into the wild or if they can't be released into the wild they usually are put in the zoo and taken care of. Have you tried doing a search and seeing if there is a wildlife rehab near you?

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PostSubject: Re: Some times, even the wildlife needs a little help.   Sat Jun 18, 2011 1:41 pm

i've got some finch recipes if you want
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PostSubject: Re: Some times, even the wildlife needs a little help.   Tue Sep 20, 2011 7:49 pm

The bird sites are full of A-holes. If you try to save a bird, they threaten you with the LAW. Bunch of bastards they are.

I see a hurt bird, I do what I can to help it, end of story.

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PostSubject: Re: Some times, even the wildlife needs a little help.   Sat Oct 08, 2011 6:28 am

Wait. What? Let me return when sober. Yes.

-HECK!

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PostSubject: Re: Some times, even the wildlife needs a little help.   Mon May 28, 2012 10:43 am

I thought that I had update this? o.O

"Little Bird", which is what we had been calling him did great. I did find out about an eye disease that the finches tend to get that will cause their eyes to swell up and scab over, pretty much blinding them and making them unable to fly. It's actually a respiratory infection. So we bought something called Tylan (it is a medicated powder especially for birds) and put it in his food and it cleared it right up. It worked unbelievably fast. By the next day or so, his eyes were looking so much better and we were having to clean them out less and less.

We kept giving him the Tylan for about a month and once his eyes were looking 100% better again, we kept him for another week and continued the Tylan to make sure that the infection was gone and wouldn't be coming back. By this time, he was chirping his little red head off and bouncing around the cage like a rubber ball. We couldn't get our hands on him. Apparently he was feeling much better and back to being a typical wild bird again Smile

We were able to let him go back out into the yard with the rest of the birds. Dad said that when he opened the cage, Little Bird was gone; he came out and flew right over our house. We have so many red finches in our yard that we can't tell them apart, so we keep hoping and wondering if he's still at our feeders. For a while, we even put some of the Tylan in the bird feeders in the yard, just in case there might have been any other little finches with the same problem.

I'm glad I didn't listen to those A-holes on that bird site, otherwise a perfectly good bird would have died rather than having another shot at life. I mean, honestly, you wouldn't take your dog to the vet and have it put to sleep just because he got sick would you? No, you would probably take him to the vet and have him checked out and put on some kind of medication to make him feel better if it was at all possible. It's the same thing, it's just a different animal. According to those a-holes, sick animals are sick so they can die because they're not strong enough or good enough to continue living. That is the biggest load of BS that I have ever heard -_- If it's alive, eventually, at some point in its life, it will get sick, probably many times. It doesn't mean that you're supposed to let it lay there and die though. It's a sorry person who would do something like that.

I haven't found any wildlife rehab centers where I live. I have found some Parrot rescues though but I'm pretty sure that they don't take in wild birds.
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PostSubject: Re: Some times, even the wildlife needs a little help.   Tue May 29, 2012 2:05 am

That's good to hear. It's a real nice looking bird too.

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